Friday, December 14, 2007

Hollywood warned 'writers will move online'

Timing. That is the secret of comedy. (Wait for it).........Tiiiimiiiing. Timing!

An interesting perspective by the writers and quickly countered by Rupert Murdoch in an interview with Cavuto. But truth be told, Fox, the internet is already changing the face of television and the writers strike is simply hastening the speed for which people seek alternative content. Look at niche networks delivering original content to the web audience, from humor on Funny or Die, to financial info on Wallstrip, to an aggregate site of unique niches on NextNewNetworks. The world of entertainment and distribution is changing rapidly.

What determines the speed of change still relies on technology. Apple TV tried to bring web content to the TV screen, but has not proved effective. Tivo ties in to Amazon to download content, as does Vudu. The writers point will be seen as true only if the technology improves and the consumer rushes out to purchase. The success of the Wii and the rush to the store indicates that a good product gets purchased.

The writers threat is not just to the producers, but may prove bone chilling to the distribution model as well. Cable companies and telco have a stake in this writers strike too. Consumers will downgrade their service to basic broadcast only or drop all together and upgrade their broadband speed to improve the quality. News weather, sports, entertainment only from streaming; the broadcast model turned upside down.

So while Murdoch may not take the writers threat of going straight to the web seriously, he should be cautious. Barriers to entry are coming down and content in the hands of professionals may take the web to a whole new level. Don't believe me, just watch some of the videos the writers have created to stress their point. They have the tools to succeed. Now if only technology follows.